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Q: You’re saying that you’re in that privileged position, why have you not called out that behaviour?
I haven’t been asked about it and I’m now responding. I have always, whenever I’m asked, regardless of who the person is, about these sorts of behaviours, I would say they’re unacceptable and that women have a right to be safe.
I remember some public reports about, that were in the media during the campaign. I wasn’t aware of the full gamut of what Ms Flint is reporting, until after the election and I think she made a submission to the…
Of course not. I mean, can I just say it is deeply unfair to make that accusation. Do you honestly believe that I would be part of a campaign of that kind of targeting and harassment of a woman, after all my years in public life, and the positions I have taken?
So I’d say to Ms Flint, rather than making these sorts of accusations in public, and through Twitter, let’s have a discussion about how we can work, use our positions which do carry some privilege, to improve the situation for all women, not just ourselves, but for all women.
I’m not quite sure how to respond to that. What I can say is that the sorts of behaviours she described are not acceptable, end of story.
Penny Wong was also asked about Nicolle Flint’s speech:
I want to make a few comments about Ms Flint. I want to say first, every woman has a right to be safe. Every woman. Nicolle Flint has a right to be safe. You have a right to be safe. All of us have a right to be safe. Brittany Higgins had a right to be safe. We all have a right to be safe.
What Ms Flint reports as having happened to her is utterly unacceptable. It is unacceptable. It is also unfair of her to seek to tie me and Tanya Plibersek to it.